Funny how the french left-communists were all read by the primis and now that primi’s on the way out, everyone’s reading the left-commies on their own. There was a stupid critique of this neofrancaise crowd at HM by some Party flare-clad SD type – the words came out of his mouth like spittle, crescendoing into the paranoid nightmares of infantilism mixed with a gatling-gun rattling off of notorious anarchist franchise projects (what is the average length of a infoshop? like six months! and primitivists….).
This speaker’s lack of eloquence undercut the clear elephant in the room — what is the connection between left-communism and primitivism?
Here was a speculative swipe I made a few week ago, before the juices really started flowing:
It seems that the “insurrectionary anarchist” scene is informed much more by its own internal grids of intelligibility smuggled in from past forms of anarchist thought than really opening up to exterior movements. The first ‘insurrectionary anarchism’ of the 70s-80s was a European phenomenon, later picked up in the states about the same time that primitivism became quite popular. I think that’s why you have “eco-defense” like the ALF/ELF engaged in such a unique brand of urban combat (attacking ‘hyper-industrial’ research facilities or development), forest occupation (tree spiking and sitting), and more. Two waves I might break it into is the Freddy Perelman era who opened up the space for second waves likes Wolfi with Armed Joy and Fifth Estate being the handmaiden. It included lots of European insurrectionism that went through a double translation: first linguistic (european languages to english), second socio-political (european context to american anti-civ).
As the whole primitivism milieu has seemed to fade, the anti-politics stayed and the anti-state/left communists they had been reading created a new upswing. The Coming Insurrection becomes a strange bridge in this regard, seeing as Tiqqun emerged from the 97-8 Movement of the Unemployed which doesn’t seem to have any rural focus (i really like this piece on it: http://artactivism.members.gn.apc.org/allpdfs/090-We%20Have%20the%20Time.pdf), the Invisible Committee seems to be catching onto the American anarcho-commune model late! (or at least the anti-civ primitivist one) When looking at “insurrectionists” in the states, however, the primtivism is gone and the anti-civ has become much more a focus on the social.
I’m not expert on the history of American anarchism, but it seems that recent anarchist trends have less to do with the syndicalism of the 20s and more with the 60s cultural anarchism of the yippies. The inability to make that connections seems to have spurred a deep longing in ‘insurrectionists’ to connect with the long dormant antagonism of class warfare found previously in anarchist radical unionism and make a break from the sub-cultural oriented post-h/yippie /punk scene. Strangely enough, a lot of the people currently involved were punks and now are looking to transforms themselves. Hence the strange displacement of concerns about the self onto political militancy.
Now, with a little less than a month behind me after I’ve written this — i think the insurrectionary crowd is missing the three key ABSENCES also found in Schmitt’s ‘political’ which keep it all together! Maybe I’ve been reading too much derrida, but this seems like a perfectly simple move. Like D&G would say “The rational is always the rationality of an irrational”, Derrida would kindly agree: the presence of the political reliance on the displacement of three elements that now appear as absences in politics:
1) women (feminism)
3) colonialism / race
it might sound strange that i included capitalism because that is what this newfound class warfare stuff is supposed to be all about. but rather, i might suggest that capitalism collapses into nothing in their neo-schmittian construction of politics because it’s formulated of capitalism as a totality. more soon.
but before i go – let’s just say when the HM panel was accused of being primis, they recoiled in horror yet never responded to the mainline anarchist critique: ya’lls are misanthropes and anti-social.
think i picked a fight?